Performing Three Years

Performing Three Years at the opening of 528 was an enjoyable but challenging experience. I performed a book made of sentences, links and absolutely no pause between a section and the other.

I have explained here why the book was designed this way. Yet, performing it is a different matter. And I knew it would be challenging. What I found out only after the performance is that people will follow along with you if what you are doing is absurd enough. And I say absurd as in unusual in the context of the exhibition my work was part of.

And people did follow what I read. They picked up the book from its stand and tried to read with me, at times peeking over to see at which page I had arrived. While most of them were my friends, I still was not expecting such a reaction. I thought everyone would be repulsed by the idea of following through such a boring performance. Endless lines of tweets performed by a university student at an art opening are apparently not boring enough.

Before the opening I imagined myself reading this book for two to three hours sat in a corner of the room while everyone would be sipping wine and chatting about contemporary art. I was not expecting anyone to be interested. I preferred to be the machine running code at the back of the room. I didn't want to be on the spot. Not because that makes me uncomfortable. But because the entire concept of Three Years is based on code that runs unnoticed: code that the platforms we use collect about us without us being affected by theses actions.

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